Invaders is a French instrumental band consisting of Nicolas Courret (drums, keyboard) and David Euverte (keyboards). The cinematic sound characteristic of the band has already found a place in their homeland. Branching out, the band is looking to connect with a new audience with their first album Carnival of Sounds.
Carnival of Sounds is a 13-track tribute to the cult movie “Carnival of Souls” featuring Candace Hilligoss. The band wanted to create a new soundtrack for the 1962 film transporting it to the 80s with music inspired by John Carpenter. The tribute to this cult classic can be heard in every song and highlighted by the use of Hilligoss as the album cover.
The first track ‘Carnival of Souls’ sets the stage for the album and lets you know what the movie was about. It has an ominous tone with some sinister notes thrown in. The keyboards add a Twilight Zone feel to the track letting you know something strange is going on.
‘Freaky Journey’ starts with a snippet from the movie and has a heavier tone when compared to the title track. This song has less ominous vibes and there is a sense of relief in the music. There is a melancholy to the notes at the start of the track, but this becomes more sinister as the song goes on.
‘Mrs Thomas’, a track named after one of the movie characters, is a great introduction to her. There is a solidity to the song, but a hidden depth that trickles through. It is a very mysterious melody and would make you seriously wonder about a character if this was their introduction.
The suspense returns to the album with ‘The Happy Worker’. This track builds a sense of unease in your chest even though you cannot place why. In parts, the instruments act like voices which adds to the unreal feeling of the track.
‘Organ Addict’ has the grand opening that you might expect with the title. The organ music throughout this track sets a different pace to the rest of the album with an almost choral nature to most of it. However, there is a change in tempo that seems to come out of nowhere that gets the heart racing. The continuation of the organ in this change showcases the versatility of the instrument and the artists.
‘Shiver in the Emporium’ starts out with disjointed sounds. The soft background that slowly comes through the sounds does give you shivers. This is a slower track that would be very creepy to listen to if you were alone in a semi-dark room.
‘House of Brine’ brings a sense of terror with heavy bass in the opening. The music continues to build a sense of tension that turns into panic. The high keyboard notes work perfectly with the deeper bass to generate the urgency of the song.
‘Main Title Reprise’ is a slowed-down version of the title track. This is an interesting inclusion because it is similar to movie and theatre scores when there is a major act change. While it is a reprise of the first song, it does stand well on its own.
‘Mary-Go-Round’ is a title that could be misleading if you don’t know the movie. Mary is the name of Hilligoss’ character and the track is a great insight into her experience in the film. There is a solid rhythm throughout that picks up as the song progresses.
The next track is ‘Out By The Lake’ and brings back the creepy vibes. You can almost see a misty lake in the middle of a horror movie while listening to the track. Invaders are able to make you feel like there is something just out of sight while listening to this song.
‘Hey Johnny, Who’s The Doll?’ uses a conversation from the movie to open the song and set the tone. The conversation gives way to the instrumentals smoothly allowing the tone to carry through. This track is an excellent bridge between the movie and the album.
‘Totentanz’ has a different structure to the opening and reminds you of structured music for dances like the waltz. This structure gives way to something different later in the song. While there is still a sense of structure, the introduction of different instruments disconnects from the opening.
The last track of the album is ‘Safe and Sound’, a title that makes you think everything is now over. The song starts with a steady beat and does have a relieved tone to it. You can almost see the end of the movie in your mind with the main character leaving safe and sound after everything that has happened.
Carnival of Sounds is a great reimagining by Invaders of the soundtrack to the film Carnival of Souls. The album is perfectly captured by a quote from the movie: “It’s funny, the world is so different in the daylight. In the dark, your fantasies get so out of hand. But in the daylight, everything falls back into place again”. The first and last tracks are the day with the sinister tracks epitomising the night and everything that comes out in the dark.